What is Pre-Workout?
First things first, let’s take a look at what pre-workout actually is.
Pre-workout is a dietary supplement designed to boost energy and enhance performance during a workout.
It comes in the form of a powder, pill, or processed snack and is meant to be consumed 30-45 minutes before you workout.
Here’s the catch - there’s no set list of ingredients. Each brand has a different formula. So, it’s important to read the label so you know exactly what you’re putting in your body when you take a pre-workout supplement.
Should I Take Pre-Workout?
Rebecca Dent, a high performance dietician, answers this question best, “pre-workout supplements are for someone who already has their daily nutrition intake sorted and they are now striving to seek those small extra gains where they can.”
In other words, you don’t ever need pre-workout, and it won’t benefit you if you don’t already give your body the proper nourishment, sleep, and hydration it needs to function and fuel your workout naturally.
Our advice: opt for energy-boosting foods like bananas and coffee to fuel your workout until you get the hang of your new wellness routine and nutritional needs, and spend the money on supplements once you have your sports nutrition on lock and are ready to take your gains to another level.
Our Top Picks for Pre-Workout Supplements for Women
Women’s Best Pre-Workout Booster for Women
This fun-flavored pre-workout booster promises to “change your lame, halfhearted training into an intense mega workout!”
It’s vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and lactose-free, with ingredients chosen by experts that are perfectly balanced and have a positive effect on muscle pump, endurance, strength, and stamina when combined. Ingredients include Creatine, L-arginine alpha-ketoglutarate, beta-alanine, and caffeine.
It comes in Sour Peach Candy, Blueberry Acai, Watermelon Mint, Orange Mango Dream, Crazy Fruits (Mixed Berry), and Tropical Punch flavors.
Cellucor® C4® Original Pre-Workout
This popular pre-workout, with ingredients like creatine nitrate, TeaCrine®, beta-alanine, arginine alpha ketoglutarate and caffeine, promises to deliver explosive energy and focus to help push you through your next workout.
To use, simply mix one scoop of the powder with water and drink the mixture 20-30 minutes before training. It’s also recommended that you drink plenty of water or a performance beverage such as Cellucor Alpha Amino® during your workout to stay hydrated.
Pink Lemonade is the most popular flavor, but there’s also Fruit Punch, Icy Razz, Watermelon, and Strawberry Margarita.
Dr. Emil’s Pre-Workout Capsule
This vegan friendly pre-workout supplement provides energy and mental focus so that you can make the most of your workout. Their formula promises to deliver momentum without the jitters and eventual crash that come with most other brands of pre-workout.
It comes in the form of a capsule for easy consumption, so there’s no dealing with chalky powder and making a mess in your kitchen, and it's super easy to take on the go.
What we love most about this pre-workout supplement is that it’s free of sugars and other unnecessary additives, so you’re only getting the benefits of pre-workout rather than any of the drawbacks of hidden additives.
Optimum Nutrition's Gold Standard Pre Workout
This optimum quality pre-workout is made with only high quality ingredients and strict quality control.
Per serving, it contains three grams of creatine monohydrate, 175 mg of caffeine from natural sources, and 1.5 grams of beta-alanine for performance, energy, and focus. It’s recommended that you take the pre-workout consistently over time in combination with a well-balanced diet and exercise program.
There are various flavors to choose from, including Watermelon, Blueberry Lemonade, Fruit Punch, and Green Apple.
Ghost® Legend® Pre-Workout
This pre-workout combines an energy and focus formula with premium “pump” ingredients to get you feeling like a legend whenever you need it most.
It has a 100% transparent label that fully discloses the dose of each active ingredient in the pre-workout so that you know exactly what you’re getting in each scoop. Ingredients include Citrulline - one of the best pump ingredients on the market, Beta Alanine, and caffeine.
It comes in either Blue Raspberry or Fruit Punch flavor.
Powher Pre-Workout for Women
Especially formulated for women, this pre-workout has been designed to deliver a powerful energy boost for women without the side effects commonly associated with male pre-workout supplements. Powher uses a “low stimulant system” which includes ingredients that support improved endurance as well as vital vitamins to support reduced tiredness and fatigue.
Their unique formula includes their secret ingredient, EnXtra, which is a natural caffeine amplifier that works alongside a small amount of natural caffeine in order to boost its effects as well as lengthen the time it is working. Added to this formula are their ten “stim free” natural ingredients, including coconut water powder, oxyjun, and vitamin B.
Wrapping it Up
In conclusion, you do not by any means need a pre-workout supplement in order to have an efficient workout. You can power through a workout naturally by eating well, staying hydrated, and getting enough rest, or you can add energy-boosting foods like bananas and coffee to your diet.
But if you want to try pre-workout to see what it can do for you, we cannot stress enough how important it is to read the label! Each pre-workout is made with a unique formula, so just because a product claims to work doesn’t mean that it aligns with what you want to put into your body.